10 observations from Eagles-Chiefs

10 observations from Eagles-Chiefs

McCoy talks about playing through pain

September 19, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Sean Smith pulled down one of Michael Vick's two interceptions thrown Thursday. (AP)

Ten random observations on the Eagles’ 26-16 loss to Andy Reid and the Chiefs Thursday night at the Linc:

 The worst thing about the game wasn’t the sloppy play, the turnovers, the missed tackles. It was the way the defense, which played with a tremendous amount of intensity most of the night, just let the Chiefs drive down the field for a field goal late in the fourth quarter. After LeSean McCoy’s 41-yard touchdown run brought the Eagles back within seven points early, the Chiefs drove effortlessly from their own 5-yard line to the 20-yard line -- 15 plays, 75 yards, over 8:15 -- and made it a two-possession game on Ryan Succop’s 38-yard field goal. Just way too easy.

 Can’t say this enough: Somebody has to convince me that McCoy isn’t the best running back in the NFL. Here’s the coolest Shady stat ever: He already has five career fourth-quarter rushing touchdowns of 40 yards or more. Nobody else in NFL history -- not Walter Payton, not Jim Brown, not Barry Sanders -- has five. His 516 yards from scrimmage so far are 11th-most in NFL history after three weeks. I don’t hesitate to say that if he stays healthy -- and that was quite a scare he gave everybody Thursday night -- he’s going to have an all-time great NFL season.

 Big-time regression from Michael Vick Thursday night. Yeah, the Chiefs are by far the best defense he’s faced this year, but the mistakes he made were awfully discouraging. You’d like to think he was beyond the poor decisions that led to the two interceptions he threw (two more were negated by penalties, another was dropped) and the five sacks he took. But it wasn’t just the mistakes. Vick was really inaccurate, too, misfiring on some pretty routine throws. He finished 13 for 30 for 41 percent -- his second-lowest completion percentage as an Eagle. Without an efficient and productive Vick, the Eagles really have no chance.

 I thought maybe Riley Cooper was better than he’s shown so far. Right now, he looks like a third receiver. The dropoff from Jeremy Maclin to Cooper is huge.

 Can’t imagine why Vinny Curry couldn’t get on the field the first two weeks. He showed Thursday night what kind of player he was. In his first game of the year, the second-year defensive end was one of the Eagles’ most productive defensive players, with several pressures, his first career sack and another snap that forced a holding call. It’s not like Curry didn’t have a tremendous preseason. He did. The way he played Thursday night, his inactive days better be over.

● Alex Henery has now missed 46- and 48-yard field goals the last two games. They’re tough kicks, but if he doesn’t get his act together soon, the Eagles are going to have to start looking at kickers. Henery began the season as the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history, but I just don’t have a lot of confidence in him right now.

● I don’t know what options the Eagles have with the secondary, but this is tough to watch. It’s one thing getting ripped apart by Philip Rivers, but Alex Smith? He kept throwing high-percentage passes and the Chiefs kept taking advantage of missed tackles and blown coverages to get big yards. Patrick Chung was even worse than Nate Allen Thursday night. The Eagles still have to deal with Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers, as well as Eli Manning and Tony Romo twice, among others. On opening day, Leonard Hankerson had two touchdown catches. Last week, Eddie Royal had 90 receiving yards and three TDs. And Thursday night, Donnie Avery had 141 yards, his biggest game in five years. The Eagles are turning mediocore players into studs. And the tough part of the schedule is about to start.

 A couple disappointing games from Mychal Kendricks. He’s fast and athletic and is making some plays, but he’s also missing too many tackles right now. Way too many.

 Remember when we all thought the offensive line was a strength of this team? Sure didn’t look like it Thursday night. Far from it. The Chiefs have a tough, fast, athletic, physical defensive front, and they sure imposed their will on the Eagles’ O-line in this game. Five sacks, numerous big hits and Vick limping off the field with a minute left. Ugly.

 I wasn’t a big fan of retiring Donovan McNabb’s number. Not yet. Maybe in a few years. I know a very high percentage of Eagles fans are burned out on McNabb. Appreciate everything he did here, all the playoff wins, the 2004 NFC title, but they’ve also had enough of talking about him, hearing him, thinking about him. That said, I’ve got to give the fans at the Linc a tremendous amount of credit for the loud and prolonged ovation he received at halftime. It was richly deserved, and no doubt it robbed a lot of the national media of an easy “booing Donovan again” storyline. Great job, you guys.